Six Things to Consider when choosing a Good Webhost Provider
With the proliferation of web hosting companies, and the rapid evolution of web technologies, it hasn’t gotten any easier to find a great web hosting company. Fortunately, many of the factors for evaluating web hosts have become standard, so comparing them is easier when you know what you are looking for.
There is no perfect web host, and often, you don’t find out about the warts and blemishes until after you’ve paid your money and started setting up your site. However, with this quick guide, you can increase the likelihood for finding a great fit for your needs.
Most web hosts compete on monthly cost. There are even some free web hosts out there, they will want to put ads on your site, and you will have zero control over what they put out there. Just remember, the old adage that you get what you pay for applies to web hosting, as well as most other commercial transactions, so look a little deeper than cost.
Many web hosts offer unlimited this and unlimited that in their benefits list and this allows them to be favorably compared to web hosts that have limitations. Don’t be swayed into paying for features and technologies you don’t need just because they are “unlimited.” These companies know most sites only use a minute fraction of the ‘unlimited’ resources that are available to them.
As always, you’ll want to make sure you have room to grow, but you don’t really need unlimited elbow room. When you get to the point where you really need to scale, your technology requirements will very likely have changed significantly.
When something goes wrong, do you get to talk to a real person? For most people, this is the big one. Then, you will want to have confidence that the person you are talking to can understand you and that you can understand what they are telling you. Finally, if you do get to talk to a real person, do they know what they are talking about?
It is almost always worth it to pay a little more for great technical/customer support in your native language, because it is something you will need… and it will always be at a lousy time.
Most web hosts have hardware that can handle basic site needs, it’s those special needs that you should focus on when making your web host selection. Here are a few questions to ask:
- Do you need to host special software that requires a special platform like Windows or Apple operating systems?
- Are there performance requirements that you host must meet in order for you to meet service level requirements to your customers?
- Are onsite/offsite backups a requirement for your operation?
- Do you need special software for content management or custom databases installed?
If your company uses your top level domain for email services, you’ll probably want to host your email with your web host and be able to administer both through a single interface. What kind of spam filtering does your host provide? Do you have to configure and maintain it yourself, or does the host automate spam filtering. This can be a big headache if you have to dedicate resources to doing it in-house.
Let’s face it, web hosting companies are not going to publish testimonials that give them bad reviews. It may take a little more time to find trustworthy sources of customer reviews and satisfaction ratings, but this time should be considered an investment that will lead to peace of mind for you later on.
There are LOTS of choices for webhosting. Do you research, but be sure to consider Customer Service – which is a hallmark of what we offer at North Texas Web Design!